Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin, a socialist magazine, and author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality. He is also an unlikely advocate for nuclear energy.
In a new article for The Guardian, Sunkara draws on Environmental Progress research which found that, in its first full month without Indian Point nuclear power plant, New York’s carbon emissions from in-state electricity generation rose 35 percent over the state’s pre-covid shutdown levels.
The same analysis found that the carbon intensity of New York’s electricity, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity, rose 46 percent. And the share of electricity from renewables, including hydroelectric dams, actually declined between 2019 and 2021.
Sunkara’s article comes at a time when a growing number of progressives, socialists, and Democrats are speaking out for nuclear power. A few weeks ago, Emmet Penney, a founding member of Santa Fe’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapter, noted that “Nuclear plants bring wealth and meaning to their host communities” and, in a turn of phrase that elicited strongly positive responses from readers, Penney added, “They are American industrial cathedrals.”